Capital One Cash Rewards vs. Chase Freedom

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jekbrown
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Capital One Cash Rewards vs. Chase Freedom

Postby jekbrown » Mon Nov 21, 2011 12:12 pm

Hey everyone. My Wells Fargo Visa has decided to stop giving me 1% cash back, so I am kicking them to the curb soon. Right now, I'm considering replacing it with one of the following. My primary concern is cash back rates. I use my current Visa to pay for almost everything I buy (including my bills, other than my mortgage), and the new card will be used in the same way...and I never carry a balance. Anyway, the contenders:

Chase Freedom: we all know what this is / does

Capital One Cash Rewards Card: I just got an offer for this card in the mail the other day. Essentially, it offers no annual fee, 1% cash back on everything, PLUS, once a year they give you a 'bonus' 0.5% back based on your purchases over the course of that year. So, it's an effective 1.5% back on everything, with no caps of any kind. They are also offering $100 bonus if you spend $500 in the first 3 months (not hard since we pay for my wife's tuition with the CC!).

They also offer some pretty nice automatic rewards redemption options where you can, for example, have the account set up to automatically send you a check when your rewards reach a fixed dollar amount. I'd prolly do $100...but it's nice that you don't have to constantly monitor your accounts points and manually redeem them. Just one less thing to do in a busy life. :D

The Freedom card is pretty cool, and I like the $200 bonus they are offering....but I really doubt I would use the 5% cash back stuff very often. I buy my gas at Costco (and use a AmEx card there), can get 5% off on home improvement stuff with a store card, buy most of my groceries at Winco (which doesn't allow CC use!) etc. I just don't think the 5% categories would be of much use to me, unless I intentionally spent extra $ in order to get them...which would be dumb. ;) So yeah, the 1.5% all the time would prolly be better....on the other hand, Chase Freedom is offering $100 more in the 'signing bonus' and there may be times when the 5% would be handy.

What says the CC gurus?


DoingHomework
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Postby DoingHomework » Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:16 pm

Can't comment on much of what you said but I will warn you about one thing...

You say you pay your wife's tuition on your Visa - I hope you are aware that many colleges are discontinuing acceptance of Visa. I'm not sure why but it has something to do with a dispute over terms. If you have an alternate card like Amex then it should not be a big deal to you but you may not want to count on that expense going on Visa much longer. Maybe that would affect your decision, maybe not..

JohnB222
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Postby JohnB222 » Mon Nov 21, 2011 6:10 pm

I would read the review this website did a few weeks ago on the Capital One Cash Rewards if you are looking for more information:

Capital One Cash Rewards Card Review: Here's The Catch

Now in regards to the Chase Freedom, there is a $300 offer out there if you can find it which may entice you more than the $200.
[font=Arial][CENTER]Amex Blue Cash Everyday - 22k CL | Chase Hyatt - 15k CL

PenFed Platinum Rewards - 12k CL | Chase Sapphire Preferred - 8k CL | Chase Freedom - 5k CL[/CENTER][/font]

jekbrown
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Postby jekbrown » Mon Nov 21, 2011 9:58 pm

School bills: I hadn't heard that, thanks for the heads-up. The cap one card is a MC, so that might be a plus.

Review: awesome! That was just the kind of info I was looking for! I was looking at my spending report on WF.com and I only put about $1000/mo on my CC, so it's not like I'm a hardcore rewards points compiler. Question on the categories for Chase Freedom though: my current CC considers Super Walmart purchases to be in the 'grocery' category. Is this how Chase categorizes them also? How about gift cards purchased at grocery stores? Eligible for 5% back during those quarters?

jekbrown
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Postby jekbrown » Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:57 am

yikes, $300 is about 2.5 years worth of cash back at my spending rates. That makes this a pretty easy decision! Thanks man!

JohnB222
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Postby JohnB222 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 5:35 pm

For category based rewards, it depends on the MCC for the merchant. MCC's vary for each network (Amex, Visa, Mastercard) but not by bank. So if you have a Mastercard and signup for Chase Freedom and they issue you a Visa there's a chance it will be different, but usually they are all the same...or at least Visa/Mastercard are. Also lastly, credit cards have no way of seeing what you buy, so if you buy gift cards they are just as eligible as any other purchase.
[font=Arial][CENTER]Amex Blue Cash Everyday - 22k CL | Chase Hyatt - 15k CL



PenFed Platinum Rewards - 12k CL | Chase Sapphire Preferred - 8k CL | Chase Freedom - 5k CL[/CENTER][/font]



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